Monthly Archives: December 2012

Merry Christmas!

MerryChristmas_SlideWell if you’re like me you’re wrapping up a long day of services about now.  It’s been a great day filled with some technical challenges and good moments of everything working together like it should.  In the end we had 5 services at our main campus and people came forward to be receive Jesus at each service.  In the end that’s all that matters!

I’ll post up some more info and videos from our Christmas services in the next couple of days.  For now thanks for checking out the site and I hope that you have a Merry Christmas!

TouchOSC App For Video Control

Screen shot 2012-12-18 at 12.56.08 PMI’ve been looking into MIDI controllers lately for controlling lights and video.  I didn’t really want to purchase one though before I really was sure it would do what I want it to do and that it’s worth the money.  I searched for some apps for my iPad that offers MIDI control and I found a really cool one called TouchOSC.  It’s only $5 and so far does everything I want it to do.

I put together a short video showing how to set it up and control ProVideoPlayer as an example.  My goal is to get it to control the Green Hippo media servers.  Once I get that working I’ll post another video.  Enjoy!

 

Ableton Live Controlling Lighting, Video, and Lyrics

Hey guys, we just got done with a week of rehearsals and shows for Oceans Edge’s Not So Silent Night.  Everything went great!  In this show we tried out some new ideas that we haven’t done in a show yet.  The biggest one being some pretty heavy automation thanks to Ableton Live and MIDI.

We ended up with Ableton Live sending out MIDI commands to our lighting console for lighting cues.  To another machine running ProVideoPlayer for videos on our stage screen.  Then to yet another machine with ProPresenter for lyrics which was a master for two other machines running ProPresenter in slave mode connected to our side screens.  We didn’t have video cabling to those areas so we wirelessly connected to them.

In the end Ableton Live on one machine was triggering a grand total of five other machines running different programs and performing different tasks.  All through MIDI and MIDI Show Control.  Pretty cool stuff!  This allowed us to have the precision of automated cues but unlike timecode we could easily change the order of cues, repeat cues, skip cues, change the tempo, all things that timecode is too rigid to do well and simply.

This involved some testing and extra work on the front end but resulted in a better show that was very easy to run.  We only ended up with about 100 lighting cues, about 5-10 were manually triggered.  If Ableton Live wasn’t triggering most of the lighting it would have been at least 175-200 cues.  This is because we used Ableton Live to repeat cues (for easier programming) and trigger presets saved to our submasters that could then be triggered as individual lighting cues or looks.

Just like you can hit the bump buttons to make the submasters go Ableton Live can do the same thing through MIDI Show Control commands.  So one song that would have been 50-100 cues was simply 23 presets triggered remotely in different arrangements.  This even allowed us to divide up the programming between several people.  I was able to focus on lighting looks and programming the lighting console while other people carefully placed cues into Ableton Live to trigger the lights.

Connectivity was pretty simple as well.  In fact only the lighting console itself had a physical MIDI cable plugged into it.  The rest of the machines received MIDI commands over the network using Apple’s Audio MIDI setup that’s built into the OS.  We have used this a lot and it has proved to be very reliable provided that you have a good network connection and not a lot of network congestion.  We created our our network just for these machines in order to make sure everything worked as fast as possible.  Everything in the lighting booth was hard wired together and the two remote machines connected over the wireless N WifI network.  This worked very well.

My buddy WIll Doggett and I put together this short video where he walks through the setup.  Ignore the messy lighting booth, ha ha.

Not So Silent Night 2012

IMG_1694Ocean’s Edge School of Worship is getting ready to have it’s annual Not So Silent Night Christmas show.  It’s a good time for the students and staff to push themselves to put together a great event that will be enjoyed by hundreds of people.  While the goal is a to have a great time of worship with the body we also want the students to feel the pressure of an event like this so they can learn and grow in their skills.

While getting ready for this show we came up with a cool plan for triggering lights.  Basically we’re triggering all of our lighting cues from Ableton Live using MIDI and MIDI Show Control.  So far it’s working very well for the first attempt at something of this scale.  I’ll be sure to get some video of the setup in action as well as go into some more details on how we’re making this happen.

The show is this coming Friday and Saturday in our theatre.  There’s still a lot left to do but we’re in good shape for being this far out.  For now that picture is my view of the show as we finish up lighting cues.  Always behind some kinda gadget at work, ha ha.

The Midas XL8 Is Here

Well after a few weeks of assembly our Midas XL8 was shipped over from England and just arrived at our main campus in Fort Lauderdale last Friday!  We have just been spending a little time playing with the interface and getting a little more familiar with it.  It’s a really cool console with a ton of features and I think it’s going to serve us well for a long time!  This will be another thing that I’ll go into more detail with over time but I couldn’t resist sharing some pictures of the console.

It may be digital but it feels like an analog console, especially in the weight, ha ha.  Getting big heavy stuff into our booth is a little bit of a problem with our narrow door and tight turns.  There was no way that this 350 pound console was going to get carried in so we used one of our lifts as a crane to lift it up and over the wall, ha ha.  Fortunately the lift went smoothly and our console is now right at home inside of the booth where it should serve us well for the next 10 years or more!

Environmental Projection Update

Hi guys, I promised some updates with our new projection setup.  I’m not ready to go in-depth on the setup yet but here are some pictures showing the 105′ wide image.  I apologize in advance for the iPhone pictures but it’s all I have handy at the moment.

We have started to use the projection during services.  Mostly with graphics that tie in our theme for the month.  Some of these pictures were from us playing around with the built in effects.  It’s pretty amazing how one video clip can turn into dozens and dozens of looks just by using the built in effects.

When I get some time I’ll go into a little more detail on how everything is set up along with a closer look at the Green Hippo media servers and their interface.

Short Projector Setup Time Lapse

For the fun of it I set up my camera to do some time lapse of us setting up our new projectors.  I messed up the first part so i didn’t capture us getting the projectors up to the catwalk but what I did get is still kinda cool.

You can see that things don’t line up perfectly yet.  I’ll get things pretty close with the projectors themselves then I’ll be relying on the Hippotizers for keystone, warping, and edge blending to perfect the image.  At that point we should have a nice, seemless, 100′ x 18′ image!

Environmental Projection Install Part 1

Ok, it’s been an exciting week!  After over a year of planning and demoing equipment we finally moved forward on our permanent install environmental projection system.  It’s not set up quite yet but the gear is here!

The highlights of the system are the two Green Hippo Hippotizer HD media servers and four Panasonic PT-DZ21K 20,000 lumen projectors.  This will be set up in our main Fort Lauderdale sanctuary.  The final result will be a seemless image that’s 100′ wide and 18′ tall.

The goal is to finish the install this week.  Once it’s installed I’ll post up some better pictures and videos of everything in action.  We did get as far as racking up the gear and mounting the projectors temporarily on the catwalk.  Ultimately the projectors will get mounted underneath our catwalk.

While testing the Hippos and getting them to talk to each other I played around with sending the outputs to Light Converse, my virtualization program.  It’s pretty cool, the hippos can output a video feed over the network to LC.  Then LC will show you the video on your video wall or projectors in the simulation.  So not only can you preview all your lighting, you can preview video as well!

That’s it for now.  If all goes well I’ll have some more pictures and videos of the setup soon!

Midas Pro2c Digital Console

In anticipation of our new Midas XL8 arriving the Midas reps were kind enough to drop of one of the XL8’s smaller brothers, the Pro2c.  We brought it in to test out some things and to refresh our memories with the software and layout.  Since all Midas digital consoles share the same software it makes going from one console to another pretty familiar.

Head on over to Midas’s site to get more information on the Pro2c.